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Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum tackles fatherhood and other life changes in a new album

Jack Tatum, front-man of dream pop band Wild Nothing, writes about the joys and challenges of fatherhood on his new album, <em>Hold.</em>
Ethan Hickerson
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Shore Fire Media
Jack Tatum, front-man of dream pop band Wild Nothing, writes about the joys and challenges of fatherhood on his new album, Hold.

Dream pop band Wild Nothing released their last album, Indigo, in 2018. Since then, front-man Jack Tatum moved from Los Angeles to Richmond, Virginia — not far from where he grew up.

He says it was the right thing to do in his life. But he admits he had some misgivings about moving to a much smaller city.

"There's a lot of things that I hate about stereotypical suburban culture," Tatum told NPR's Morning Edition. "But I have this soft spot for strip malls and big box stores, and...there's something about my upbringing that I feel was quintessentially American."

On Wild Nothing's new album, Hold, Tatum writes about that inner conflict on the song "Suburban Solutions" — which explores his love-hate relationship with what he calls the "consumerism" of small town life.

"This song was a little bit about making fun of myself and my own fears of moving to a smaller city and choosing this life of slowing down, settling down," Tatum said.

Tatum then soon took on another challenge — starting a family.

"Becoming a father, at least for me, there was this immediate thought of... 'Oh, I don't want to mess this up, I don't want to do the wrong thing, I don't want to let this person down,'" he said. "I did sort of have these wonders about how am I going to tour in the same way now? How am I going to find the time to write... As soon as he was born, it was like, I want to be a present parent, I want to be the best dad that I can, and so you have to change things about your life."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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